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Trinity Sunday — Family faith formation @ home

Welcome 

Invite various persons to bring a designated item and use this liturgy to begin your time of learning together. 

One:    Come, let us gather around and see how the Spirit will nurture our faith today.

All:      Who is with us?
One:    Christ, the light of the world.
(Place a candle on a table in your gathering place and light it.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:   The Love of God, who came to meet us in the world.
(Place a cross on a table in your gathering place.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    The Wisdom of God, who speaks through the Scriptures.
(Place an open Bible on a table in your gathering place.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    The Grace of God, who proclaims we are children of God.
(Place a symbol of baptism – a bowl of water, a seashell – on a table in your gathering space.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    Our risen Lord, who meets us at the table.
(Place a symbol of communion – a plate and cup, a loaf of bread, grapes – on a table in your gathering space.)

One:    We are here, Holy Spirit, ready for your leading.

God sightings and prayer offerings 

Invite each person to share where they saw or experienced God this week. Invite each person to share something — a person, community, experience, event, etc. – for which they want to offer prayer. 

Good and gracious God, we thank you for all the ways you were and are present in our lives and in the world. [Invite each person to say aloud the sighting they named earlier.] We bring our prayers to you, prayers for… [invite each person to say aloud the prayer need they named earlier]. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

Connecting with Scripture: Isaiah 6:1-8

Read the Scripture aloud the first time using the New Revised Standard Version or the Common English Bible.

Connecting through story

Watch and listen to Amanda Gorman, National Youth Poet Laureate, recite her poem “The Hill We Climb.”

  • Which words and phrases spoke to you?
  • What pictures, visions or ideas emerged as you listened?
  • In what ways is this poem a “call” to be or do something different?

 

Connecting with our lives

Engage in dialogue:

  • Why do you think Isaiah described God in such a manner?
  • What do you think Isaiah’s vision was trying to convey about God and about him?
  • What do you think God wanted Isaiah to do?
  • Why would Isaiah think he was “unworthy”?
  • What was God’s response to Isaiah’s uncertainty about his ability to do what God asked?
  • Where in just these eight verses does God explain Isaiah’s call? (It doesn’t.)
  • Why did Isaiah respond with, “Here am I, send me!” before he even knew what he was specifically supposed to do?
  • How will Isaiah know what he is to do?
  • When have you felt God was calling you to do something specific?
  • In what ways did you feel uncertain?
  • In what ways did God help you?
  • In what ways did it help God’s people and community be better and more faithful?
  • How did it help you grow in your faithfulness to God?
  • In what ways did it help you feel closer to God?
  • How did you know it was what God wanted you to do?
  • How can you keep listening for the ways in which God will continue to call you to make the world a better and more faithful place?

Teaching points that can be incorporated into your discussion:

  • Today, in the Church Year, we celebrate Trinity Sunday — God who is three and yet one. The Trinity is never explicitly mentioned in the Bible, but God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are clearly evident and taught in Scripture.
  • The Trinity can be difficult to explain or understand. Sometimes we talk about the Trinity in terms of attributes or things God does – Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer. God is the Creator of all that is, was and will be. Jesus, God incarnate or made flesh, is the Redeemer of all our sins. The Holy Spirit is God’s own Spirit sent to sustain our continued work and Jesus’ earthly ministry until he comes again.
  • Other times people will use the metaphor of water, steam and ice to explain how one can be three. The problem with this is that water cannot be steam at the same time as ice, while in the Trinity – God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one at the same time.
  • Another way to talk about it is relationally. Think of a mother – she is, at once, a mother to a child, a wife to a spouse and a daughter to her mother.
  • No single way we try to describe the Trinity will work perfectly because God is bigger and beyond our human ability to completely understand. Thank heavens!
  • The vision Isaiah has is one of trying to comprehend the vastness and the holiness of God. It is awe inspiring and he struggles to describe it in ordinary words.
  • What is clear is that Isaiah emerges from this holy encounter with a “call.” God gives Isaiah a job: to be a prophet and take a message to God’s people that they need to do better and they can be better.
  • A biblical prophet is not someone who can see into the future or who tells fortunes. A prophet in the Bible is someone who is chosen by God to bring a very specific message to God’s people.
  • The first part of the book of Isaiah is set in a time when God’s people have been disobedient and willful. God clearly said to them in the covenant made through Moses: if you are going to be my people, then you do not worship other gods – only Me – and you must take care of and help your neighbor. God’s people failed to do as God commanded. While God remained faithful, loving them and still being their God, the people had to live with the consequences of their disobedience. The Babylonians took over Israel and exiled them to a strange and different land.
  • While the specifics of Isaiah’s call are not given in these eight verses, God knows what the people most need and decides Isaiah is the best person for the job. God called and Isaiah said yes — before he even knew exactly what God wanted him to do. Isaiah trusted that God would reveal the particulars in the exact right time and in a way Isaiah would understand.
  • Isaiah’s call was to bring God’s two-fold message to the people: they had broken their promise by turning away from God AND there was hope. God would not turn away from them but rather, when the time was right, God would bring them out of exile and back to their Promised Land. God would give them a chance to be a better. God was calling them to be better — to be a more faithful people.
  • Isaiah’s call becomes, in turn, a call to the people. Isaiah clearly says, “Here am I, send me!” The hope is the people will also respond with a resounding “Yes!” as they work to become the community, nation and people God wants. It will take the awe-invoking, majestic Creator who Redeems and returns them from exile to Sustain all efforts as the live into a better expression of what it means to be God’s people.
  • If we listen carefully to Amanda Gorman’s poem, we can hear a similar two-fold message as she names the ways in which we have turned away from God’s hope and expectations for us as a people AND she gives voice to a collective call for the community, nation and people to live into God’s best intention for us personally and collectively.

Invite each person to imagine they are a modern-day Isaiah, a prophet sent by God to give a two-fold message. What would your message name as the ways in which we have turned away from God and what message of hope would you bring from God?

Prayer

Close your time together by praying for one another, your neighbor, community and the world.

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